ProRail import

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This page is still under construction. More content will be added before the end of juli 2015.

ProRail, the Dutch rail infrastructure owner, has a lot of rail data available for OSM. I, JJJWegdam, would like to use the opportunity and propose this import.

Import slices

Because the ProRail dataset covers quite a lot of different object categories (e.g. turnouts, milestones, catenaries, etc.), an approach in parts has been chosen. Each slice will serve a certain object category. This will make the import less complex.

Railway milestones

Dutch railway hectometre sign.png

To start off easy, the railway milestones have been chosen as first part of the import. It will only contain nodes with four simple tags:

All nodes: railway=milestone

Specific: railway:position=45.5

All nodes: source=ProRail

All nodes: source:ProRail=Railmaps

Previous attempt

This import has been conducted succesfully before, but was reverted because I wasn't yet aware of the import guidelines. This time, the preparations have been done like described in the guidelines.

Milestone overpass.PNG

Existing milestones

Regarding existing milestones in the Netherlands: these have been searched for using overpass turbo. Luckily, only two existing railway milestones were found. These will be dealt with, with care.

Conclusions and import approach

Taking into account that only two milestones exist in the Netherlands, at this moment, no [conflation] has to be dealt with. This leads to the conlusion that this slice of the ProRail import is suitable for a fully automatic import. The import will (after approval of all stakeholders) be carried out like the previous attempt: use JOSM's Opendata plugin to import the .shp file from ProRail's database, refurbish the tags by selecting all nodes and upload it to OSM.

Next up: signals

Information about the next slice will appear as soon as the previous slice has been finished.

Overview of all available data

Content will be added soon.


The data sources overlap a bit, but both have data subsets that are not in the other source. The sources therefore will be treated seperately.


As the name suggests, OpenOV's data is as open as it can be. Dutch law stipulates that the data that ProRail, in this case, provides through OpenOV should be available to the public. It consists of several datasets, including contract areas, railway speed limits and railway platforms. The data gets updated every several months.


Railmaps application is ProRail's internal GIS service. To use the application, explicit permission is needed. The proposer of this import received such permission for both scientific research and OSM mapping. A part of the objects in Railmaps can be downloaded as shapefiles. ProRail gave permission to use the shapefiles for OSM.

Railmaps application data mostly gets updated within one month after execution of infrastructure changes.


How will you convert the .shp files to OSM xml?

By importing the .shp files in JOSM by using it's Opendata plugin.

What about existing geometry and tags?

My goal is to preserve current object history and tags (and thus not to delete and replace!). I am still looking for tools to merge parts of the ProRail data that actually require merging. I will not start importing data that is already in the OSM database in some way, before such a suitable tool is found.

For simpler parts of the import (that contain data that is not yet present in OSM), like the Dutch railway milestones, I'll simply look for existing objects by using data filters (like xapi).